CHICAGO — Firefighters, police officers and the South Side community streamed into St. Rita’s chapel Thursday night to show support for Officer Dan Golden.
Officer Golden, who graduated from St. Rita in 2009, was off-duty at Sean’s Rhino Bar over the weekend when a fight broke out at the bar and he tried to break it up. That’s when someone opened fire.
Three men face charges in connection to the shooting.
Golden’s father, Patrick, said the outpouring of support Thursday and since the shooting has been overwhelming.
“It means everything, these people from the South Side of Chicago are a special breed. We’re all in this together,” Patrick Golden said.
Hundreds joined in that prayer for Officer Golden as he watched a live stream of the service from his Christ Medical Center hospital bed, recording this message for the crowd.
“To my family, friends, thanks for everything,” he said.
Family and friends were not surprised the veteran was injured protecting others.
“It’s been his life’s calling — from the South Side, to the army, to the Chicago Police Department, watching out for others is all he knows,” his cousin said. “Now, it’s time for us to watch out for him.”
The family had an appeal for safety while at the vigil.
“This has to stop. This senseless violence, guns, shooting people,” Patrick Golden said. “This has to end. And if we can’t do it, then we have to vote people out of office.”
Another St. Rita grad who was wounded in the line of duty, Carlos Yanez, was in attendance.
Over $1.1 million has been raised so far via his GoFundMe.